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Women's Health

Ovarian Cysts

01/12/2010

Question:

I had a ct scan because I very sevre lower left quadern pain and dirrhea. When they did the scan they found nothing except a overian cysts. He said that it was not big enough to cause my symptoms. So he gave me some medicaions for IBS and they have helped alot. I am looking for some information of Ovarian cysts. I am 36 years old and never have been sexuly active. Could the cysts be the reason that my periods went from lasting 7 days to 2 days? Do I need to get any x-rays, ct scans ect done every year to keep an eye on it? Could also be why I have had 3 yeast infections this year and never had before in my life? Any chance of this being any type of cancer? I have read that they may come and go. Can you explain that to me and any other information that you can give me?

Answer:

Each month before a woman ovulates, (forms an egg cell) the ovary develops a cyst, which is a sac of fluid surrounding the cell.  Ovulation is the moment that the cyst bursts and releases the egg cell along with the fluid.  After this, the cyst remains in the ovary for a couple of weeks, releasing hormones that will either trigger a period, or support a pregnancy if the egg is fertilized.  This ovulatory cyst usually reaches a size of about an inch when it ruptures, though it may be larger.


For this reason, there is almost always a cyst of some size on one ovary or the other in a woman of reproductive age.  Unless the cyst appears very large or very abnormal (for example, with solid components or growths within it), there is no reason to think that it is anything other than a natural, normal occurrence. 

 

Ovulatory cysts are not associated with any kind of infection or cancer.  Women who wish to prevent pregnancy can suppress ovulation by taking hormonal medications such as a birth control pill.

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Response by:

Jonathan  A Schaffir, MD Jonathan A Schaffir, MD
Clnical Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University